Brennan Center Applauds Ohio’s Bipartisan Election Reform WorkGroup

September 24, 2009

For Immediate Release: September 24, 2009
Contact: Jeanine Plant-Chirlin, 212-998-6289


Workgroup provides additional recommendations for Elections Enhancement Bill 

New York - Earlier this week, Ohio Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner issued a final report to the House of Representatives regarding HB 260, introduced in August by Representatives Dan Stewart and Tracy Maxwell Heard.

Based on recommendations provided by a bipartisan workgroup of election officials, county commissioners and voting rights advocates and the historic 2008 and 2009 election summits called by Secretary Brunner and chaired by the Brennan Center's Lawrence Norden -- the Secretary's final report makes a number of additional recommendations, including  the adoption of statewide automatic voter registration and ways to make it easier for citizens to correct ministerial errors that will allow their registration and votes to be counted.  The final Elections Summit and Conference report recommended the study of automatic voter registration, among other issues.

"We applaud Secretary Brunner for convening the bipartisan Elections Enhancements Workgroup, a process recommended by the Brennan Center and summit participants. The group's valuable recommendations should further bolster the Ohio Elections Enhancements Bill and promote its adoption," said Norden.

"At the conference and in our reports, advocacy groups and elections officials from both parties embraced automatic voter registration as a potential solution to improve the administration of Ohio elections. Such a system would greatly increase voter participation, and reduce costs and the burdens election officials face when deluged by last-minute voter registration applications.

"The Brennan Center looks forward to working with Secretary Brunner and the legislature to find ways to effectively institute many of the good ideas for reform that came from the election summits and the Election Enhancement Workgroup, including making it easier for voters to correct errors so that their votes can be counted, improving the design of ballots and election materials, and streamlining the registration process through automatic voter registration and other registration reforms."  

For more information or to set up an interview with Lawrence Norden, please contact Jeanine Plant-Chirlin at 212-998-6289 or